By Mrs Stefane Lee, HOD (Discipline and Pupil Development),
Meridian Primary School
This fun-filled programme was arranged for two groups of teacher-authors
in recognition of their contributions to either the Bird Park
Trail launched in November 2004 or the articles written for
the Teachers’ Conference 2004. Nineteen of us took part in the
five-day Innovation and Enterprising Experience in Perth, Australia
in late November 2004.
dormitory at the Bush Camp.
have different strengths and weaknesses. Let’s collaborate!
During the camp training, we learnt that everyone fell under
different personality types, with their unique features and
strengths. By recognising our differences, we could work towards
winning outcomes by collaborating and tapping one another’s
strengths. We realised that we should tap our passion and not
lose sight of our goals despite our shortcomings. Making associations
and collaborating with others eliminate possible obstacles.
Thus, if one has lots of ideas but is not bold enough to try
them out, one should work with those who are more adventurous.
They may be able to take action and transform one’s creative
ideas into innovative actions. The “think-tank” concept that
was introduced encourages scenario planning so that we can constantly
ask what if and what else to generate ideas, and not work within
Through case studies and scenario exercises, the bush camp commander
helped the group to appreciate the importance of active listening
and the power of questioning. Using the concept of the ladder
of inference, he encouraged us to challenge assumptions.
The ladder of inference demonstrates the number of times we
often deduce things and make decisions based on unfounded assumptions.
Active listening and good questioning skills will help us to
eliminate unnecessary and false details and focus on the facts.
The learning point was that innovation could not take place
if we were so afraid to make mistakes. Courage to take action
is critical for a creative idea to become an innovative act.
A creative mind will not thrive if the idea is not put to the
test. For one of our activities, we wanted such a perfect strategy
that we did not try out some of the ideas proposed by other
members as they seemed doomed to fail. Though our two groups
collaborated and did not compete with each other, we were both
equally afraid to try out new ideas.
Visits to schools showed the possibilities
that we could adopt for our own schools. We will definitely
remember to encourage children to let their creative ideas blossom
into innovative actions. Most of us have picked up ideas that
we would like to modify and infuse into the programmes of our
And drawing from the positive energy of the whole experience,
I personally feel that respect for one another and readiness
to accept and tap the strengths of our differences are important
ingredients for nurturing the I&E spirit.